Mary lives in the ocean, and as in the best of fairy tales, she meets a human and falls in love. But sometimes true love doesn't conquer all, especially when there are sons in the mix.
The sea-witch Janara sighed. “You're aware the spell brings with it a curse?”
The mermaid nodded.
“And that I can't say what the curse will entail, for it's tailored to the one who benefits from the spell.
My child, I would strongly advise you to reconsider. Can the need to have this human as your spouse be so overwhelming as to make you go down such a dark, dangerous road?”
“I love him water-witch. I want no other,” the young mermaid declared stubbornly. “Whatever the curse may be, I will deal with it when it emerges.”
“You make it sound so easy, Mary, but this spell has not been used in centuries. I, who am a witch, would not cast it for myself.”
“It's the only way John and I can be together,“ Mary said shrugging off the warning.
The witch sighed. “There are many handsome young mermen you could choose from. Why him? And what does the human say? Is he willing to leave the dry world behind to live in the ocean? What of his family, his friends?
Most important, is he willing to live under the shadow of a curse?”
“He is an only child, his parents dead, and he loves me as much as I love him. So cast the spell, sea-witch. As for the curse, he must never know!”
At Mary's words, the witch stared at her, shocked. “You have not warned him of the consequences of the spell? You must. The human has the right to know.”
“No! Nothing is going to ruin our happiness. Cast the spell!” Mary repeated.
Janara browsed though her Grimoire. There was nothing more she could do to dissuade the young mermaid.
Her palm had been crossed with sea-gold, and she was honour-bound to carry out her petitioner's request.
As soon as the witch pronounced the final words of the spell, Mary turned on her tail and with strong, swift, strokes made her way to the deep pool where she'd encountered the tall handsome human, smiling as she remembered his awe and wonder the first time John laid eyes on her.
The meeting had been accidental.
Few came near the little pool. It was situated under an outcrop of sheer rocks which discouraged climbers or beachcombers of any kind.
She shouldn't have been there at all.
It was forbidden to the merpeople to swim too close to the shoreline, but that made the little pool even more appealing to the young merteens, It was the perfect place for the curious to catch a glimpse of the strange two-legged beings who inhabited the dry land.
Now Mary was filled with anxiety. Had the spell worked? Had John become like her? Could their love have a future?
Just as she entered the pool, she was gripped by a strong pair of arms as John embraced her from behind, his face nuzzling into her hair.
“It worked, John, “ Mary cried out in joy. “It really worked.”
She wriggled out of her lover's hold and turned to face him.
Her heart somersaulted in her breast as she took in the transformation.
Instead of legs, John sported a long muscular tail, its scales glistening blue-grey through the clear water of the pool.
He grinned at her. “You like what you see?”
In all answer, Mary circled his neck with her arms, pulling him in for a kiss, filled with anticipation at the thought of their live together; the curse the witch had warned her about was pushed to the side, completely forgotten.
Two years later.
When their baby arrived, the young parents were overcome with joy. It was a boy, perfect in every way, its tail tiny and emerald-hued.
They called it Dean after Mary's mother Deanna.
The child grew strong and beautiful, sweet and affectionate, and when four years later, Mary found herself pregnant once more, her and John's marital bliss just kept on growing and expanding.
Baby Sammy was the cutest little merbaby ever, his tiny tail, a mix of blue and green.
Even four year old Dean was immediately smitten by his baby brother, and when little Sammy gave him a toothless smile, he was totally bewitched.
Mary's parents, Deanna and Samuel, once they'd gotten over their prejudice at their daughter having married a human, came to love their two beautiful grandchildren, adding even more fuel to the fire of Mary's contentment.
Eight years later
“Come on Dean, Let's race to the Coral rocks and back. I bet I can beat you now,” eight year old Sammy said, swishing his tail in excitement.
“Squirt. I'm twice your size and my tail is super-fast. Go take on some of your geeky friends. Then you might have a chance!” Dean replied mussing his baby brother's hair, which floated around his face like brown sea-weed.
“And you seriously need a hair-cut, kid. Even if we did race, you couldn't see where you're going with all that fluff in your eyes. Get yourself an awesome buzz-cut like mine.”
But Sam only whacked his brother's hand away and pouted. “I like my hair the way it is.”
“Fine, but don't come crying when you smash your face against something harder than your stubborn little head!
You don't want to be the ugliest guest at my Crossover party tonight, dude. I'm twelve now, “ Dean puffed out his chest in pride. “I've officially left childhood behind. You're gonna have to pay me the respect I deserve, kiddo!”
Sam gave a snort. “Ha, ha! I might do that when you stop acting like a two-year old.”
“Just for that, I'm gonna take up your offer of a race, show you who's the two year old around here!” Dean grinned, coiling his tail muscles in anticipation of a quick get-away.
But that was as far as Dean got before he heard Sam's panicked cries filter through the intense pain which had taken hold of him.
He felt as if his body was being torn apart, and that somehow he was drowning in the water which had kept him alive all these years.